Pulse of a Place

Everyone is so different.  This simple fact never ceases to intrigue me.

A friend from college had been dreaming about moving to NYC and after many years and a detour, her dream was realized this month.  It was exciting to watch this unfold even though it was only through Facebook.

It did make me reflect.  The very city she had been yearning for all these years was the very city I yearned to leave.

Don’t get me wrong.  NYC will *always* have a piece of my heart.  It is the setting for our story:  from boyfriend-girlfriend to engaged to married to two baby boys to one more bonus baby.  Also the setting for our late night fights and bad cycles and tears and no family to help during those tender baby and toddler years.

That city wasn’t just the setting.  It was a dominant character in the story because hey, it’s NYC.

Now that I’ve boomeranged back to my home state after 13 years in NYC, I am as happy as a turtle sunbathing on a rock.  With shades on.

Those 13 years made me see my hometown in a totally different light, almost like getting back with an ex.  “Oh, you mean other places range from cold to freezing cold almost six months of the year?!  Not lined with palm trees?!  People rushing all the time?”

I also realized that the difference between what my friend and I yearned for could be summed up in one phrase:  the pulse of a place.

I needed to graduate from the very energy that is NYC – the palpable energy that makes everyone say there is NO other place like it.  The energy that was wearing me out daily.

NYC has its incomparable beauty.  I can’t do it justice by only listing a few so I won’t.

But at my age and life stage, I needed a different pulse.  No more beep beep-honk honk-sirens-catching trains-trekking in the dirty snow-trash piled up high on the sidewalks.

My new pulse is slower and quieter.  And oh how I delight in it.  I look forward to each day in a new way.

Mountain views so beautiful they look downright fake.

Palm trees…and more palm trees on the next block.

Neighbor’s grapefruit tree spilling treasures onto the sidewalk when the gusty Santa Ana (warm) winds hit the other night.

Sun beaming down on me the week before Halloween.

Still wearing shorts in October.

People walking their dogs slowly.  Smiling.

No one honking at me (first car to honk at me in 2.5 months had MA plates!).

Wide open spaces that I dreamt about, prayed for.

Strangers saying “hello” and me being the New Yorker wondering if they talkin’ to me.

Gardens.  Succulents.  (And yes, NYC has beauties like these too – my faves being Wave Hill and Storm King-but those spots were oases away from the frenetic pulse I can now love on a visit, not day-to-day).

Puig calling in to Power 106, promising to take the Dodgers to the World Series. Game 1 starts tomorrow – Dodgers vs. Red Sox.

George Michael’s “Faith” playing on my car radio and Ellen K. punctuating with, “We gotta have faith…in our Dodgers,” in a completely serious tone.

No place is perfect.  But I’mma take the 210 to the 10 to the 118 to the 134 to the 101 to the 405 to the 2 to the happy face on my heart.  No place like home.

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Adventure and Possibility

I’m not sure if it’s because we’re still so new to SoCal but I wake up excited.

Everyday is a new adventure and possibility:  Who might I meet?  Which new class or group will Olive and I check out?  What new part of LA will we learn about?  What will become our new normal?

I am not used to being passive in any form.  I am always following up and usually initiating socially, too.  But sometimes, it’s exhausting and frankly, it can flare up my doubts and insecurities:  “If I don’t initiate, would I continue to have most of my friends?”

But I’ve been learning to let go bit by bit.  I feel like He is showing me that if I dare sit back and see what could unfold without me masterminding it all, He will still open up opportunities.

Like today, Olive and I visited a school for her and me.  I found it not through any aggressive researching on my own but “passively” when my friend tagged me on a Facebook post and it was just what we needed for this new season.

Olive had a blast though she was skipping her fat morning nap.  She walked around bobbing her head like a li’l G, doing shoulder shrugs to the beat and walking right up to the other little cuties’ toys, instead of ackin’ like the shy, new gal.

Other moms even commented that she seemed so independent, and I was like, “Yes, only because I’m here.”  Sho’ nuff, when I left for adult discussion a few classrooms away, she cried like I had abandoned her Philomena style.  (Warning:  that movie got me laid out for weeks.)  I was called back even before I made it to the discussion.

On another note, I thought that by now, I wouldn’t care much about becoming “just” a mom once again after moving from NYC to here.  I need this “down” time of not juggling mom and work though definitely missing the paycheck for our growing expenses, 10% CA sales tax, and the pricier gas.

But when I see a son’s classmate’s mom in her scrubs in the morning or meet up with other lawyer moms who are currently practicing law, I do get that twinge again, that twinge I thought had long been put to bed:  Right now, I am “just” a mom.

When I signed up Olive and me for the class today, I was asked some routine sign-up database questions including, “Are you currently employed?”  Again, I am so much more comfortable as “just” a mom as a third-time mom but I did feel like explaining myself for a second:  Oh, we are just settling in and I’m with this little one.

I didn’t have to explain myself as the staff said, “Oh, I mean, you have that little one to take care of,” as if to help me out and justify it for me.  And then when she asked my highest level of education, and I said, “Juris Doctor,” she seemed surprised.  It just reminded me of how much our identities are wrapped up in our work or status, whether or not we enjoy that work.  So easy to tell someone “lawyer” when asked what do I do.

And further along that tangent, I remember a classmate’s mom in NYC telling me about another classmate’s family, how they were a “good family,” “both parents are anesthesiologists.”  Of course, I knew what she meant but that only tells me that they are highly educated and have high pressure, high paying, high status jobs, not that they are a good family.  Maybe I’m being a purist with words and labels but it did give me pause.

Anyways, I have to go drive to the boys’ school now.  So different that they don’t close schools for Rosh Hashanah here.

Maybe I will meet the other transplant from the East Coast, a dad I just met on Friday.  We were swapping move stories and feelin’ each other on $$$$ shipping costs and being new, even though I done boomeranged to my roots 13 years later.

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new class was a blast but got me laid out!

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meeting new humans and horse at a local play date

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met most of these people the night before!

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familiar face no matter which coast

 

 

 

 

 

 

New things

Just saw that it’s been exactly four months since my last post on 4.27.18.

Keeping with the 27s, one month since my family and I moved from NYC to LA on 7.27.18.

I left in 2005 for my then long-distance boyfriend, now husband and babies’ daddy.  I remember sitting around sharing desserts after a birthday dinner in Los Feliz, and my girlfriends expressing concern that I was moving out to NYC without a ring on my finger.

I was touched by their love for me but I explained that getting long distance engaged wouldn’t actually be any kind of guarantee.  What if I moved out there and he turned out to be a jerk?

I do remember saying, “I can always move back if things are awful.”

Sometimes, things were awful.  Not because of who Kevin was but because NYC is a tough place to live with small kids, harsh winters and no family.  Plus marriage is always tough even without the East Coast West Coast Biggie and Tupac tension.

Then I started to resign myself to thinking that maybe we’d have to keep staying because jobs weren’t as easy to come by as strangers and acquaintances seemed to suggest.

About the third child in, I just accepted that while sun, nature, childhood friends, family, oceans of parking spaces and quiet were life-giving to me, it just wasn’t part of God’s plan to open that door for me.  I’d just have to brave the subway and recalibrate my expectations to the suburbs of NYC, a common transition for many Queens families.

As we got ready to put an offer on a house on Long Island, all the while feeling like, “Something doesn’t feel right.  Shouldn’t we be more excited about buying a house?,” Kevin’s job offer started taking shape.  As you know, I am a very gut feeling / signs / intuition gal and when one realtor said, “Welcome to Long Island,” all my cells clenched to say, “Nope nope nope nope.”

Right before Kevin went to fly in for his interview, we visited a huge playground on LI.  Suped up.  Inviting.  (But still SO cold in the spring).  If anything, all that play space should have lured us into seeing what LI has to offer.  I asked him, “So?  Whaddya think?  You think we’re gonna live here?  Or can we dare say we might end up in L.A. after all these years?”

Kevin hates to jinx anything and has all these rituals during sports playoffs.  He didn’t want to spit it out but he was willing to say, “I don’t think we’re gonna end up here.  I know we might make an offer on that house and I can totally picture us living there but I just feel like we won’t be here.”

There was a 37 day period of limbo even *after* Kevin received and accepted the job offer.  We didn’t know if we should be online looking for housing in L.A., Queens or Long Island.  We gave quasi-notices at our jobs.  We prayed a lot.

And here we are.  Exploring our new neighborhood.  Reconnecting with old friends.  Trying to remember to take in our own bags at the market.  Getting used to “May I help you find anything?”  Referring to NYC  as “back home.”  Feeling myself calmer as I don’t soak in all the beep-beeps and honk-honks.

And I keep coming back to how this verse shouted out at me this year:

Isaiah 43:19 (ESV)

19 Behold, I am doing a new thing;
    now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
    and rivers in the desert.

I perceive it.  I receive it.  And I am rejoicing in it wildly.  Thank You, Lord.

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New things:  Olive and I start off on our own as Kevin starts new job and boys resume week three at their new school.

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unpacked our handmade ornaments from Family Camp exactly two years before we moved out to LA; the date gave me chills, as did the fact that Olive was not even a sure thing back then and here we all are

Giving Up Free Parking in Manhattan: A Birth Story

Olive is turning 11 months old tomorrow.  Here is her birth story, before she becomes a toddler on Memorial Day:
Saturday of Memorial Weekend 2017 was soccer for the boys.  Kevin went to Costco with them so I can rest after my scare the day before which landed me in the hospital to get checked out.  My bladder had protruded out of me while I was on toilet and I initially thought, “OhmyGod, I am on one of those TV shows where I have the baby in the toilet, except I’m 40, not at prom.”
I joined them at soccer while Kevin put away the groceries.  I relayed my dramatic story to a fellow soccer mom and dad.  He joked that I should have my baby on Memorial Day Monday for rare, easy parking in NYC.

I rested a lot that day.  Read a library book off and on that day (I wrote the name somewhere – some mystery book that was NOT riveting).  The boys went to sleep easily and earlier than usual (maybe God was setting up the scene).  By 8-something at night, they were both sound asleep so Kevin and I propped ourselves up in our bed, to organize some baby clothes as we had so many hand-me-downs and time was running out.

8:58 pm – As I shifted in bed, I felt warm liquid seeping and I could tell it wasn’t the usual discharge that sometimes felt noticeably warm and would give Kevin a scare.

And JUST LIKE WITH THE BOYS, I had bloody show, which is ALWAYS a helpful heads up that my body gives me – to say, “Hey, this is happening and will happen within 24 hours.”

I called the doctor’s office and Dr. Not My Doctor was the one on call, just like with Ellis.  He said I can either come in right away since it sounded like my water had broken and contractions would be coming or I can labor at home and come in in the morning.  We weren’t sure if he said come in in six hours or come in by 6 am, so we called him back to clarify.

We texted lots with our neighborhood friends, A, S and W re “It’s Game Time!”

S was very smart in that he could tell we were telling him to just come over by 10 pm so that we wouldn’t disturb him in the middle of the night so he offered us our space to labor at home, be nekked if more comfy, and pack final items.  He assured us that once we needed him, he would be over within ten minutes.  This was an answer to prayer as I worried about who would take the boys if this happened in the middle of the night before my mom arrived on 6/1.

S rushed over.  The boys would be waking up to him instead of us.  I wrote out letters to each son.  I felt so emotional, knowing that these were the last moments of us being a family of four, my having just my two precious sons I doted on for the past 4.5 and 6.5 years.  I was a Boy Mom and so whupped on these two very different creatures who made me a mom.  And my Pillow Cheeks was no longer gonna be my Babyest after 4.5 years of milking it.

Light pink seepage soaking up dozen maxi pads.  I used pantiliners until I realized that I needed more heavy duty support.

I practically barked at Kevin and was super-mean. “I know you supportive but I need you to LEAD so I can just be passive in times like these!”  But he was discombobulated by my water breaking 16 days before the due date, after the bladder prolapse the day before.

Also, it may have been an animal thang, like when a dog gets ready to give birth to her litter and she feels crazed, scratching her claws across the wooden floor.

I didn’t start contractions under AFTER midnight (water broke at 8:58 pm).  I had snuck into boys’ room to marvel at my sleeping babes whose lives were about to change.  In a good way mostly, but there would also be a loss of Mommy’s attention and energy as a third apple of my eye would be scooting them over.  Or “scootching” them over, as Ellis likes to say.

Looking back, this final moment to nestle with them and breathe them in on the last night of having only two children outside of my body was such a gift.  It also allowed me to calm down, soak it all in, and not be so mean to Kevin.

Contractions picked up, about 6-7 minutes apart.  After I kissed the boys in their sleep, I calmly woke up a sleeping Kevin to tell him we should go in and get my epidural more timely than last time.  I had told Kevin to invest in rest though I wasn’t able to sleep.  For some reason, Kevin was surprised again that this was really happening.

S arrived so swiftly, gave me a quick “heem-neh” hug and marched right into our apartment like a soldier on a mission, with his rolled up sleeping bag.  Kevin gave him inhaler instructions for Micah and we took off before 2 am.

My contractions were coming regularly and it hurt like a mother (is that where the saying comes from?) but I don’t think it hurt as much the previous two births.

For MLK, it was, “WHAT THE HELLLLLLLLL!???” and for EZ, “HOLY SH*T I NOW REMEMBER ALL OF THIS AND THIS IS GONNA HURT LIKE A MOTHER!!!”  For this one, I can only remember it hurting so much my eyes would shut on their own, but I still dared to tell Kevin between frequent contractions:  “It’s middle of the night.  Don’t do the $100 valet parking.  Drop me off by that plant at the entrance and then park on the street.”

Kevin advised:  If you wait for me to park, it could be a matter of getting an epidural on time or the anesthesiologist getting all booked up like last time when it was too late.

Me:  You right.  Good call. Just pay the $1000 for parking valet.

I checked in at 2:22 am on what seemed to be an uneventful night at the maternity ward.  Later I found out that it truly was uneventful due to it being Memorial Weekend.  I asked how can babies time their own births around major holidays and someone explained that as far as scheduled deliveries, they were scarce around major holidays.

2:27 am – Dr. PG gave me an internal exam.  3 or 4 cm dilated and 70 effaced.  Head still down.  This doctor is gorgeous.  Just like the nurses at Ellis’ delivery – they looked like they were gonna pillow fight on The Bachelor.

Dr. S, a handsome young Indian anesthesiologist gave me my epidural at 3:05 am when I was ONLY 3.5 cm dilated.  Another gorgeous Indian doctor.

Dr. Not My Doctor checked in at 3:34 am, 4:58 am (said I was 7 to 8 cm dilated and should be another hour), 6:15 am and said it was time.
Wait, is my baby crawling out the cavern on her own before I even pushed?  I told the doctor and he said, “Let me check.  Oh yeah, she’s right there.”  The Korean-American nurse commented, “When I have kids, I want a birth like that.”
Baby girl arrived so quickly at 6:32 am that we didn’t even get to get our cry on.  She just appeared.  Two contractions and total of five pushes within a few minutes.  She seemed to birth herself, as I felt her crawling out of me even with my epidural; no pain, just pressure.
Olive Hope Kim, 16 days early for most memorable Memorial Weekend ever and best reason for bailing on friend’s BBQ:

5 pounds, 8 oz, 2500 grams, 19 inches tall

Now, 11 months old, with a staring problem like I’ve never seen before.  Only Li’l Kim to army crawl, still zero teeth, and waking up once or twice through the night since seven months old.  Slept so much better when brand new.  Wishing you a wonderful last month of being an infant.

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photo by Gaga Photos 

 

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Goodbye, Yadira

Dearest Yadira,

Christmas 2017 was freezing cold here in NYC.  You had just persevered through Hurricane Maria and you were back in NJ/NY for the holidays.

The weather was too severe for us to join you on the Dyker Heights Christmas lights tour, especially for our new baby.

But wait, our family had just gotten invited to a Christmas party that happened to be around Dyker Heights.

I waffled back and forth to see if I should go through the effort of trying to meet you only for a few minutes in one of the busiest parts of NYC, on the busiest day of the year.  It was painfully cold and though the three kids were asleep in the back, any of one of them could wake up at any moment.  Was I forcing something?

Kevin was chauffeuring the family around as usual and he said it was my call.  Even with the crazy congestion, if I really wanted to meet this Facebook friend, he’d do it but I’d have to make the decision right quick.

It feels supernatural.  I can’t explain it.  I have to meet her.  It would only be enough time to give her a hug after all that she’s been through since moving to Puerto Rico.  But we’ve shared more meaningful exchanges than some real life acquaintances.  So, yeah, if you really don’t mind getting caught in this holiday gridlock, I feel like we must meet.  Who knows when we’ll have this chance?”

Kevin accommodated me by driving as close to the part of the tour you and your family were in.  I hopped out the car and ran a few blocks to find you.

I remember you were easy to spot because you were in a bright white winter coat.  “Look at you, all white, lookin’ like Mariah Carey in her Winter Wonderland.”  Looking back, you were bright white like an angel.

We hugged, we teared up, I met your husband and kids, we took selfies.  Then I had to go run back to our car before the kids stirred.

Fast forward to April 14, 2018, Saturday.  I was in the passenger seat coming home from Long Island.  We were stuck in major traffic so I started scrolling through my Facebook Newsfeed.

Ooh, I had meant to read your blog post about your 40th birthday but I hadn’t gotten around to it.  Looks a bit odd since you didn’t post it yourself.

Wait, Pierre posted something else on your behalf.  Looks like an actual burial on Facebook Live!?  I have never seen such a thing.

Maybe you guys were posting something to show how differently they do funerals and grief in Puerto Rico, or showing how much your island was still affected by Maria, even losing loved ones months later.  A burial on Facebook…hmmm…

Wait, why are the comments telling someone with your same name to rest in peace?  I think your name is common in Spanish.

WAIT, WHY ARE THE COMMENTS COMFORTING PIERRE AND THE KIDS!?

I check your Facebook page and see messages of grief and shock.

THE BURIAL I HAD WITNESSED THROUGH FACEBOOK?  I had just witnessed YOUR burial.

I start whimpering and moaning, face crumpling.  Kevin asks from the driver seat, “Jihee-yah!  Jihee-yah?  What’s wrong?  What happened?”

You were the most vivacious spirit on my Newsfeed.  You were passionate about God, homeschooling, your natural, vegan lifestyle, your family, God’s miracles and provision.  Your smile was SO big and SO bright.  Unforgettable.

I am still in shock.  I see your face smiling back at me everywhere, just like in your family of five photos.  When I get up through the night to use the bathroom or put Olive back in her crib after nursing her, I see your face smiling back at me.  I feel angry.

Is this real?

You just celebrated the heck out of your 40th birthday.  You just came out of Hurricane Maria, stronger and wiser than ever.

I will never understand why and sometimes I just can’t stand that His ways are higher than our ways, makin’ no kind of sense to us mere mortals.

I know I only met you in real life just that once, but I’ve truly appreciated getting to know you through our online exchanges.  After we met, you commented that we hitched fo’ life now.  I’m beyond glad that I snaked my way through your touristy tour to just get a chance to meet and hug you.

I’m sad that you died so suddenly, leaving your beautiful family behind.

If you were alive, I would have written you about how my first son now looks for signs just like his mama.  When I told the two boys that my friend had died and that I was in shock, my big one gasped, “That’s why we saw that dead rose earlier, Mommy!  You were saying why is there a dead rose in the parking lot.  It’s because your friend died.”

No one could have known that your move to Puerto Rico allowed you to be buried in the land you have always longed for.  Enjoy paradise, my beautiful, joy-filled friend.

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Palm Sunday Pew Fight and Good Friday Grievance

On Palm Sunday, I got into an argument with a stranger sitting next to me at church.  This was a first for me (I think) and it bummed me out big time because I don’t enjoy fighting, ESPECIALLY at church.

Church is supposed to be my sanctuary, my haven, my exhale.  Scuffling with some entitled heffa on the subway when she yells at me for accidentally grazing her with my purse?  Yes.  And different from conflict with people within the church as that is natural once everyone gets to know each other more but I thought surely DURING service, we all on our best behavior.

Picture it.  March 25, 2018.  Queens, NY.

I am sitting in the balcony minutes before the sermon is about to start.  Kevin whispers to me that his back is killing him so he has to stand out in the vestibule.  Minutes later, I gather my stuff to join him because I don’t get to spend much childless time with him these days and we like to worship together when we can.  I also want to be free to cough if I need to.

I walk out to see that there are absolutely no seats left because of the explosive Palm Sunday attendance.  Kevin advises that I return to the sanctuary and try to grab my seat back.

I whispered, “Excuse me,” as I had to pass the one lady who was sitting to my right.  I had to pass her on my way out and I’m sure I was annoying to come right back but hopefully, she could understand that I had my reasons.

I pass her as carefully as possible and she loudly remarks, “OOOOKAAAYYYY!!!”

My Joy Luck Club reflex kicks in and I respond with a “Me so sorry” wince and an, “I’m sorry!” which is the exact opposite of how I felt.  SURE SHE CAN BE ANNOYED LIKE I AM WHEN PEOPLE WALK IN LATE AND HAVE ME SCOOT IN but I am gracious about it because…WE AT CHURCH.

The congregation is told to say a brief silent prayer and when we emerge, I feel my body heat up.

“Why did you say ‘OOOOK’ like that?  I had to pop out to check on my husband and also have a cough attack.  I know it’s so annoying to pop back in but that was rude.”

“Look, WELCOME BACK, OK?  WELCOME!”  (or something like that, maximum snark)

“That was rude and passive-aggressive.  I didn’t say anything when you walked in late, ok?”

We go back and forth and the sermon begins.  I wanna fight her.  My blood is boiling.  Whenever she responds to the sermon with her, “Mmm” and “hahaha,” I want to turn around and say, “WHAT YOU MMMING AND HAHAING FOR, YOUR RUDENESS?”

Pastor talkin’ about “Get behind thee, Satan” and homegirl has the audacity to “mmmhmmm.”  I am so annoyed that I text my friend.  She texts back the perfect response about how she, too, is in the middle of a conflict at home and that we have the power to make the right choice.

I calm down a bit and church starts singing.  I’m hyper-aware of this lady to the right of me.  I swear if she starts harmonizing to the song, I’mma have to quit church altogether.

Afterwards, she awkwardly extends a peace offering of, “Hope you feel better,” which is better than nothing and I say, “I need to talk to you in private, please.”  She says, “Look, I don’t want to get into it with you,” and I say, “It’s going to be the opposite of what you think.”

We go outside the sanctuary and I explain, “Look, I was just hurt because I usually overexplain my every move, like why I popped out in the first place and why I annoyingly popped back in and look, I know it is SUPER annoying to pop back in and interrupt your focus.  I decide not to overexplain for once and when you said, ‘OOOOKKK’ it hurt me.  But I couldn’t let you go without talking to you because this is church, we just listened to a sermon together, and it was just gross.  I couldn’t even focus on the sermon, could you?”

“Yeah, I mean, I just let it go.  And it’s just my personality.  I didn’t mean anything by it.”

“Yeah, but sometimes we say things that could unintentionally hurt someone and I was hurt when you said OOOOOKKKKK like that.  I’m sorry to have fought with you though and like I said, TO FIGHT IN CHURCH IS BEYOND GROSS!”

“Can we hug it out?  What’s your name?”

We hugged it out and no, this is not a story of how we Kumbaya’d and became best friends.  It just felt so much better to reconcile though we may never go further than that, or be each others’ cup of tea EVER.  It just reminded me that no place on Earth is a conflict-free zone, unless you NEVER speak to anyone and silently slip in and out.

And then came Good Friday.  A woman expressed her grievance against Kevin because she held the door open for him and he was so distracted wrangling the kids that he slipped on through with nary a “thank you.”  I actually co-signed with her and offered her MY thank you and she said, “Thank you for that but I’m actually speaking to you, sir.  YOU’RE WELCOME.  I was holding the door open for YOU.”

Kevin didn’t even notice that there was a conflict surrounding him.  He is THAT opposite of me.

I then noticed that I held the door open for families that evening after the grievance against Kevin, on Saturday with friends, and even for a pastor on Easter Sunday with zero acknowledgement and I finally learned that while this is a HUGE pet peeve of mine, I have to understand that people, including my own husband, SURE get distracted.  I will try not to hate.

Also, being a person of faith does not mean that I will just respond with “Shalom” when someone is rude.  I don’t think I even aspire to be like that.

Lord, help me live with others – in my apartment, on the crowded subway, at the office, ALL KINDS OF CUSTOMER SERVICE SCENARIOS, and also, CHURCH.  And please consider moving us to a land with far less people though because You taking character-building a bit far, no?  I’mma go feed my kids some Costco lasagna now on this snowy April day.  Thank You for food and funny snow and family time.

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Church is still my haven.  A slice of heaven, though not conflict-free like heaven.

 

 

 

 

Winter Storm Toby: March comes in like a lion, goes out like a more ferocious lion

E’s kindergarden loves the phrase, “March comes in like a lion, goes out like a lamb.”  M must have learned that, too, but it seems so pronounced this time around.  I can’t recall learning that during my Southern Californian childhood, though I do remember learning idioms in third grade.  We even made a book of idioms.

Since English was not my first language, I was fascinated by these strange sayings like, “I’m all ears,” and, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”  Even to this day, when folks speak in back-to-back advanced idioms, I feel like a fish out of water (ooh, that’s one right there).

Today, on this first official day of spring, we of NYC, ironically received an announcement from the mayor that all public schools were going to be closed tomorrow as Winter Storm Toby looked like it was going to be more major than weather trackers previously thought.  March is definitely not going out like no lamb.  RAWR!

Ellis asked to celebrate the first day of spring by going to the ice cream truck – sorry, that’s summer, but I like how he asked with so much hope and excitement in his soft brown eyes.

As tough as this East Coast weather continues to be for this California gal, even after 12+ years here, I have to admit that it is never dull as we await snow day declarations every other week.  I also love learning storm names though I know there will never be a Jihee.  Surely a Kevin and one of my kids’ names but never mine.

New season = new hopes and opportunities.

I hope that this new season brings about the official end to Olive’s first fever.  I hope that I can find more balance as I seem to be in a juggling and waiting to exhale mode with what feels like is only working or parenting or family-ing, as blessed as those things are.

I miss laughing with my face contorted and tears rolling down my face.  I miss the sun.  I miss being outdoors.  I miss just being able to step outside without all the winter gear, including a hat I dropped on the way back from school, which was kindly placed on a bush so that I could reunite with it.  I miss being able to get lost in a book without having To Do lists take over my mind, and then it’s time to go protect my sleep and rest like a responsible adult and parent.  I’m sure Kevin misses my being able to watch a TV show before I think of other To Do lists aloud.

I want more uninterrupted sleep which I’ve lacked the past couple months as Olive started to wake up at least a couple times through the night.  I want to meet up with girlfriends more than once in a blue moon so we can get our talk and laugh on.  Crucial for a more balanced and healthy me though everyone seems booked solid, including myself.  (That is what’s challenging about having three kids – even less time and energy after pouring out to three.)

I want to carve out time for more life-giving things like writing, reading, and just plain quiet so I can hear myself think without my beloved family in tow.  Some time where I am not crossing off the darn to do lists.  Untasked time.

It’s now past midnight so I better go to sleep.  Why stay up after complaining about such interrupted sleep?  Not writing has also made me feel imbalanced so I chose to crank this out before heading to the bedroom we share with our little Olive Tree.  Actually I’mma sleep on the couch so I can sneeze and cough freely.

Goodnight!

 

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First day of spring 2018

 

 

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friends’ baby shower – season of new babies

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the inevitable first fever and cold

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season of brainwashing baby Met fans

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season of endings:  Goodbye Toys R Us!  Olive will never know thee.

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Koreans wearing green (well, we could only find a minty aqua for one)